Ethics probe finds 'substantial reason' to believe Collins engaged in insider trading

Ethics committee investigates Rep. Chris Collins for insider trading

"I thank the House Ethics Committee for their meticulous review of this case and for the tough work they do to hold all Members of Congress accountable to the highest standards of conduct".

The House ethics committee is investigating New York Rep. Chris Collins, the first Republican on Capitol Hill to endorse Donald Trump's presidential campaign, for potentially violating federal law and House rules regarding insider trading.

The report also found that Collins on several occasions gave potential investors details on Innate's drug trials that were not available in the company's public filings.

The Board of the Office of Congressional Ethics has dismissed one allegation and called for further investigation for two others against Congressman Chris Collins regarding on Thursday.

In a 6-0 decision made public Thursday, the Ethics Office concluded there is "substantial reason to believe that Representative Collins shared material non-public information in the purchase of Innate stock, in violation of House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law".

The OCE did not corroborate the allegation that drove much of the media coverage of Collins's ties to Innate Immuno - that he acted improperly in recruiting friends and colleagues, including Price, to participate in a special discounted "private placement" stock sale. And that, he used his officials role as a congressman to assist Innate by discussing the company with National Institutes of Health employees and requesting that a government researcher meet with the company's chief scientific officer.

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Collins' attorneys argue this House Committee investigation is spurred by a personal vendetta by Rep. Louise Slaughter.

The House ethics committee, according to its website, can report to appropriate federal or state authorities substantial evidence of a violation of any law applicable to the performance of official duties that may have been disclosed in a Committee investigation.

"Rep. Collins has done nothing improper, and his cooperation and candor during the OCE review process confirm he has nothing to hide", Mark Braden wrote in August to the Ethics Committee on the Congressman's behalf.

OCE identified multiple instances in which Collins provided updates to USA investors regarding clinical trials and a private placement offering. Price was also an investor in Innate and served in the Trump administration as secretary of Health and Human Services until his resignation last month after reports of his extensive private charter travel at taxpayer expense. When asked by OCE about his communications with members of Congress and staff about Innate, Collins responded: "The bigger question would be, who haven't I talked to?"

The second allegation against Collins concerns discussions with NIH employees in 2013. In that meeting, Collins is alleged to have asked with help in designing Innate Immuno's drug trial. The visit to the NIH by Collins, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, was scheduled and attended by his congressional staff. The official then invited Collins for a visit.

Pursuant to Committee Rule 17A, the Committee hereby publishes OCE's Report and Findings relating to allegations against Representative Collins, and Representative Collins's response to OCE's Report and Findings.

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